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Dust Storm near Brisbane, Australia

Dust Storm near Brisbane, Australia

The dust storm that arose along the border between New South Wales and Queensland at the end of November had moved northward over the Coral Sea by the beginning of December. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the dust plume on December 1, 2006. The plume appears as a big beige splotch over the ocean, partially blocking the view of underlying clouds. Tiny red dots in Queensland are hotspots indicating fires. Some smoke from local fires might have mingled with the dust in this plume. In late 2006, extremely dry conditions in Australia contributed to both fires and dust storms.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center